It's the opening round of the National Cup and North West teams will be hoping for better fortunes in the competition following poor performances in the two previous campaigns.

We sought the views of some local experts as to how they felt North West sides would fare this time out.

James Colhoun (Killyclooney)

Hopefully this is the year that the North West sides get a run and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more getting through the early rounds.

I think Carrickfergus would have a big chance although holders Malahide start favourites.

Peter Allen (Newbuildings)

There are probably a dozen sides who could win it so it will be very competitive. I think we've got the toughest first round tie of the lot going to Balbriggan.

They have real quality throughout the team so the winner there will have high hopes of a good run.

Simon Galloway (Sion Mills)

It's a competition all the players look forward to and as usual some of the teams are a bit of an unknown quantity. We're away at Laois after a poor enough start to our league season but in our 150th anniversary year you never know, if we come through that it could be us!

Kevin Logue (Burndennett)

It's hard to pick a winner without knowing exactly how strong the other two Unions will be, however although they have very tough ties in the 1st round, it could be between Balbriggan and Rush.

NATIONAL CUP

  • Midleton v Ballaghaderreen
  • County Kerry v County Galway
  • Athlone v County Clare
  • County Sligo v Limerick Raiders
  • Dundrum (LCU) v Holywood
  • Civil Service walkover v Dundrum (NCU)
  • Laois v Sion Mills
  • Balbriggan v Newbuildings
  • Carrickfergus v North Kildare
  • Templepatrick v Mullingar
  • Derriaghy v Creevedonnell
  • Cliftonville v Bonds Glen
  • Ballyspallen v Malahide
  • Killyclooney v Rush
  • Drummond v Bangor
  • Burndennett v Woodvale